Suppose that you have long harbored the unfulfilled desire to write a novel -- no footnotes, no citations, no stare decisis -- just your unfettered spinning of a superb story. How do you get started?
You could read several dozen novels in the genre into which you intend to take the plunge and then search for reviews of those books to ascertain the establishmentarian perspective about quality. Or you might sign up for some novel-writing classes at The Loft in downtown Minneapolis (or maybe at a local college if the Loft is too far away). You could even go on-line and see what the electronic wizards have to offer.
"Well, yes," you say, the negative reaction in your voice barely concealed, "but isn't there a short-cut?" Despite the improbability of an affirmative response to that question, the answer is auspiciously "indeed!" Retired Minneapolis attorney (and novelist) Lindsay Arthur, Jr., has published a practical, valuable, commodious, and mercifully concise guide entitled "How To Write a Truly Great Novel, The Writer's Desk Book" (Archway Publishing, 2018).
His book obviously does not include a guarantee of sales; however, if you are able to apply his Seven Principles of Literary Excellence, his Successful Writing Techniques, and his suggestions on editing and publishing options, you will have as good a chance of success as if you took the more protracted orbits set out in the second paragraph.
The book is reviewed by Gary A. Weissman, a lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, adjunct professor of law in Minnesota from 1977 to 2008, and author of five novels. Now retired he lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.